Jeremy C. Parsons
The Parsons Perspective
And so the journey begins...
February 5, 2017

I was always a heavier kid. There's no denying that. Growing up, I wasn't forced to eat fruits and veggies. My mom was a great cook, but more of a comfort food cook. It was great, but my veggie intake consisted of corn or potatoes of some sort. I ended up having a pretty good growth spurt, combined with getting my driver's license, working, school, and being on the go all the time. By the time my Jr. year started in high school, I was down to 175. I remember my aunt Wanda telling me I looked too skinny.

I went to college and gained the "freshman 20", which is typical. It seemed to just snowball from there. I was hovering around 220 for a couple of years then got married in 2001. Marriage seems to add even more weight. Before I know it, I recall being pissed that I was up to 250. I would have spurts of trying to eat healthy, but it just never stuck.

We divorced in 2009, and by that point I was up to 270. I remarried a year later, and with that marriage came more weight gain. I actually got up to 330 and was disgusted with myself. I decided to start eating better, drink less Pepsi, and go to the gym from time to time. In 2012, I got down to 298. I was quite happy with myself. Before I knew it, old habits started to slip in.

Fast forward in time a little bit. I found myself grabbing quick gas station pizza or fast food for lunch. Before I knew it, I found myself at 356. The highest I've ever weighed! My wife and I had agreed to start trying once the holidays were over. I was ready. Driving in a car a couple of hours to see family, I was having to unbutton my pants because the pressure was too tight. It sucked, and is quite embarrassing. Although I could see I was bigger by looking in the mirror, it never really registered with me until I'd look at photos. I felt that I looked like John Goodman back when he was on the tv show "Roseanne" years ago. It's depressing and I kept it to myself for the most part.

My wife and I had tried various things before: Advocare, Plexus, Whole 30 diet, and Thrive. Whole 30 had so many restrictions when I attempted it in early 2016, I found myself quickly falling off the wagon. Restricting myself of nearly everything I liked seemed like a terrible way to go.

My wife actually started a week before I did this year. I told her I'd eat whatever healthy meal she made, but for lunch I was still taking a sandwich, Doritos, a yogurt, and drinking 5-6 cans of Pepsi a day. A DAY!!!! I had finally had enough and decided to jump on board with my wife. Both of us are on a Metablast Nutrition plan. The plan for example, allows 2 days of eating fruit. 2 days of carbs, etc. Am I perfect with my eating habits? No. Far from. It took me years to realize though that I don't have to be perfect. I can screw up here and there and it's okay. In the past, I think I was trying to go hardcore on a diet. I'd mess up and just say "to heck with it" and totally fall off the wagon. Doing the LIFESTYLE CHANGE that we're on now, I can quickly jump back on board, knowing my mistake isn't the end of the world. It also helped that my old friend Matt Eash started up a Facebook group around the same time to not only raise money for his favorite charity, and give half of the join in fee to whoever loses the most percentage. People paid $20 to get in this group, gain encouragement from each other, and share their experiences.

Fast forward to today, February 5, 2017: I hit my first goal. I've set goals in stages so I don't get discouraged. My first goal was to be able to weigh myself on our home scale. I had gotten so big, I was only able to weigh myself on the industrial scale at work. Bleh. Well today, I can happily say I weighed in at 330 lbs. this morning! Still weigh overweight, but on the right track! By the way, I still drink a Pepsi or two a week? Why? Because I'm afraid that if I don't give into that craving once in a while, then I'll totally fall off the wagon and be back up to 5-6 cans a day. Pure garbage in your body. Who wants that?!?

Here's exactly what I had this week:

Monday Morning: Thrive Vanilla shake with a banana & spoonful of PB2 (peanut butter powder).
Monday Lunch: Shaved ham on gluten-free bread w/Olive Oil Mayo, a cup of Dole Pineapple pieces, and baby carrots with Hidden Valley Ranch.
Monday Dinner: Gluten-free spaghetti with homemade red sauce, and 2 pieces of garlic toast. My wife gave me grief for the garlic toast. But hey, it's spaghetti. Ya gotta live a little!

Tuesday Morning: Thrive Vanilla shake with a banana & spoonful of PB2.
Mid-Morning: Beef stick
Lunch: Shaved buffalo chicken on gluten-free bread w/Olive Oil Mayo, a cup of Dole Pineapple pieces, and baby carrots with Hidden valley Ranch.
Dinner: Leftover spaghetti. No garlic toast this time ;)

Wednesday Morning: Thrive Chocolate shake
Lunch: Salad with a few grape tomatoes and a side of buffalo chicken deli meat.
Dinner: I got home late, my wife was out of town, and I had no desire to cook. My son loves Steak & Shake, so we went there. Keep in mind, I hadn't had any fast food since early January. I had water, a cup of chili, fries, and a double jalapeno crunch steakbuger (ate half of the bun).
Late night: A couple of handfuls of peanuts. Keep in mind, waking up in the middle of the night and eating something is another habit I'm trying to break.

Thursday Morning: Thrive Chocolate shake. I felt like absolute garbage on Thursday morning, and chalk it up to eating garbage the night before.
Lunch: Salad with a few grape tomatoes and a side of buffalo chicken deli meat.
Dinner: Thin pork chops with sautéed mushrooms and green beans.
Late night: I had a terrible sweet tooth and had a Pepsi and a blueberry Nutrigrain bar (FYI those aren't good for you either but probably better than a candy bar. lol)

Friday Morning: Thrive Chocolate shake.
Mid-Morning: Beef stick
Lunch: 2 leftover pork chops, mushrooms, and green beans.
Dinner: Burrito bowl from Qdoba. Opted for a little light spicy queso. Mmmmm....

Saturday Morning: No shake. My wife left me with no almond milk!!! Grrr... Oh yeah, the Thrive shakes are made with their powder (chalked full of vitamins), 8 oz of almond milk, and ice cubes, depending on how thick or thin you like it. I like it thick, and 5 ice cubes seem to do the trick.
Lunch: Went to the grocery store. That was brutal. Lots of cheese and snack samples for people to try out for SuperBowl 51 purchases. I was starving by the time I got home. A salad with a little Hidden Valley Ranch helped that.
Dinner: Haven't had pizza in awhile. Splurged and ordered Bazbeaux. Yum! Pepperoni, ham, sausage, green peppers, black olives, and red onions on gluten-free crust. Sooooo good! Yeah, there was cheese on it too, but a pizza once in a while isn't going to kill me.
Late Night: Can of Pepsi. I nursed it for 3 hours and only drank half the can.

Sunday Morning: Thrive Chocolate shake
Lunch: 2 leftover pork chops and small salad with Hidden Valley Ranch.
Dinner: SuperBowl Sunday! The plan is meatballs and stuffed mushrooms.

I'm always drinking water throughout the day. I try to drink 128 ounces, but don't quite get there everyday. I hope to continue to update. I realize the first entry was a lengthy one, but I just wanted to give you my story and show that I'm not perfect, and it's okay because as long you're eating right more often than not, then you WILL see the changes!

Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a blessed week!

Jeremy C. Parsons

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